val·​e·​dic·​to·​ri·​an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce valedictorian (audio) \

Definition of valedictorian

: the student usually having the highest rank in a graduating class who delivers the valedictory address at the commencement exercises

Examples of valedictorian in a Sentence

She was the valedictorian of her class in 1985.

Recent Examples on the Web

Then, the valedictorian and salutatorian would be selected based on character, leadership, scholarship and service — all pillars of the National Honor Society. Lauren Lumpkin, Washington Post, "A split school board votes to eliminate class rank in Anne Arundel County," 21 June 2019 The bill comes after some area schools decided to eliminate valedictorians and salutatorians. Rachel Berry,, "Losing valedictorians and salutatorians 'a step in the wrong direction,' Ohio lawmaker says," 12 June 2019 Some schools designate the traditional valedictorian and salutatorian, others define a Top 10, and some recognize a long list of students who have achieved honors status. Deb Mazzocco, Twin Cities, "Top graduates 2019: When their hard work meets the future," 8 June 2019 Senior Rachel Parsons based her valedictorian address on suggestions her classmates gave to her during the past month. Slade Rand,, "Community encourages Plainville High School’s class of 2019 to find their happiness," 19 June 2019 And a high school valedictorian in California certainly made her graduation speech memorable. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: Kentucky football still getting no respect at all," 17 June 2019 Orange County school board members vowed to implement a district-wide policy for graduation speakers Tuesday night in response to a public outcry over a valedictorian who was barred from speaking at her commencement last month. Annie Martin,, "Changes coming to Orange district graduation policy after valedictorian barred from speaking," 11 June 2019 Berghoff also was mentioned in speeches by valedictorian Nick Meyer and school president Ralph Elwart. Dan Shalin,, "Notre Dame grants posthumous diploma to beloved student Andrew Berghoff," 9 June 2019 Also the class valedictorian, a four-year member of Middleborough High’s student council executive board, a National Merit Scholar, and Rensselaer Medal Winner for Math and Science, Gwozdz committed in April to play football at MIT. Nate Weitzer,, "Name the perfect student-athlete: Middleborough’s Evan Gwozdz," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valedictorian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of valedictorian

1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for valedictorian

valedictor(y) + -ian

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Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for valedictorian

The first known use of valedictorian was in 1759

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English Language Learners Definition of valedictorian

US : the student who has the highest grades in a graduating class and who gives a speech at graduation ceremonies


val·​e·​dic·​to·​ri·​an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce valedictorian (audio) \

Kids Definition of valedictorian

: a student usually of the highest standing in a class who gives the farewell speech at the graduation ceremonies

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with valedictorian

Spanish Central: Translation of valedictorian

Nglish: Translation of valedictorian for Spanish Speakers

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